An RCMP Love Story.



While working for the Drake General Store this past year I have been designing and developing co-branded Arborist merchandise of the RCMP that has Mounties all over it. It has been a fun way for me to design and learn about the once mysterious Mountie. Now I’m a fan.

There are some key details of the famous uniform… the Scarlett Red Surge Military Style jacket, and the Midnight Blue Breeches with the yellow stripe down the outside seam of each leg. My favourite detail is the brown wide-brimmed campaign hat! Very Classy. I quickly learned that the brown leather holster is known as the Sam Browne belt and it is supported by a narrow leather strap passing diagonally over the right shoulder. I will be sure to post the new collection of Merchandise for DGS As soon as we launch, but in the meantime, an exciting coincidence happened and that is what I am sharing with you today.

One day, a gorgeous blonde gal named Randi sent me a photo of her boyfriend and herself and requested a portrait. She had it all planned out, colour palette and all. Since it was a gradient of aqua tones - I thought she definitely came to the right place. But, I practically fell off my chair when she explained that her bf happens to be an RCMP! Ironically, I was in the middle of drawing up all-over prints of Mounties doing things! I even shared with my colleagues the coincidence the next day. The little symbol on his shirt, just happens to be the Mountie Logo that I know so well.

I was thrilled about this painting request! Not only because of the Mountie coincidence, but also the sweet gesture of wanting a painting together for her man, as a gift. It reminded me of the first portrait I did of my husband and I years ago! 

The best part is…I actually learned something new about the RCMP - Some of their girlfriends are babes! Haha, well Alexandro's is, that's for sure!


Randi in her own words….

1. Who is the painting of?

The painting is of my boyfriend Alexandro and I.

2. Why did you decide to get a painting made? Who is it for?

The painting was a Christmas gift for my boyfriend Alex. He is a really eclectic collector, collecting artwork, movie posters, antiques, video games, and RCMP memorabilia (he is a member) among others.  The first time I visited his apartment, he took me around telling me the story and lore behind each item so his passion was obvious. I really wanted to get him something he could put on display with his other collectibles and something that would be completely custom and one of a kind. Being that we're both also romantics, I thought a portrait of the two of us would be something we could cherish together as we grow. Your work came up on my Facebook feed and I just loved the style and there the idea was born. Now there is finally something to put up on the one piece of wall in our home I made him leave for me! 

3. Are you happy with happy with how it turned out?

I am very happy with how it turned out. I didn't know what to expect, but as soon as you sent me the picture I had the biggest smile on my face all day. 

4. Was the receiver pleased?

Yes Alexandro really loves the painting. It was a big surprise! 

5. Anything else you would like to share about the people in the painting or the painting itself?

Just that you've done an amazing job to create this piece of my best friend and me. His shirt was customized perfectly with the heraldic badge of the RCMP as per my request and the colour scheme was exact to what I had asked exact to what I had asked for.

Thanks again Randi ~ Wishing you and Alexandro a wonderful New year 2017 and a lifetime of love and happiness XO


My favourite part of every portrait is the story behind each one.  I was thrilled to paint this gorgeous Great Dane, and be a part of his families magical holiday gift/ memory exchange.

I fall in love with every animal I meet... especially when I am granted the honour to paint him or her. I resonate with animal portraits because I am the proud Mother of a big gushy Husky. When your pet is your everything, there is nothing better than a lovely picture of your cherished furry baby. 

Laurence, thank you for choosing me to paint your beautiful Cebu! And thanks for sharing your answers... ♥ ♥ ♥

1. Who is the painting of ?? 

CEBU! My handsome boy, the second love of my life.. my Great Dane.

2. Why did you decide to get a painting made? Who is it for? 

The painting is much more timeless then a photo, in a my opinion, and it will be part of our home forever. I got it done for my husband... while he is working out of town, in case he gets homesick! Hihi

3. Are you happy with happy with how it turned out?

I LOVE it. It's perfect.

4. Was your husband pleased?

Better then pleased.

5. Anything else you would like to share about your Cebu or the painting?

It's a unique and wonderful way to transform something that is close to your heart into a timeless piece for your home and family.

Here is a beautiful photo of Cebu framed!

We Three Poms

I died when my old friend Lana sent the photos of these three adorable Pomeranians, in a ball. How ridiculously cute are they? Extremely. She wanted a portrait of all three together for a Christmas present, so I dove right into the painting.  Since I haven’t met them in person I wasn’t sure if I got the character, but she assured me I had. Yay - Love the painting and these three little Poms! Bailey, Brandy, & Whiskey next time I'm in van I hope to meet you!!

1. Who is the painting of ??

 The Pomeranian crew I nanny on a regular basis. Bailey, Brandy, & Whiskey. 

 2. Why did you decide to get a painting made? Who is it for?

 The owners do so much for me. They are so generous and kind, and I wanted to give them something meaningful for Christmas. 

 3. Are you happy with happy with how it turned out?

 I love it. It is better than I had hoped. No detail was missed. Even Brandy's little grey hairs! 

 4. Was the receiver pleased?

 They love it. They have been wanting a painting of the dogs but haven't had time. This made their Christmas. 

 5. Anything else you would like to share about the painting?

 Your so incredibly talented. The painting is identical to the photo. You captured the poms perfectly. Thank YOU! 




Linda Ruth Humphries (March)June 21st, 1949 – November 25th, 2015

My little sister Kiki’s best friend Bean (Christina) – lost her beautiful Mother Linda.
Bean is like a little sister to me, and I just sat there staring at her photos posted in memory on facebook, wiping tears off my face, heart-broken. It was heart wrenching to see such a beauty taken from us way too soon. I did not know Linda that well, but of course I still knew her, and what I knew was so lovely. She was beautiful beyond words.
She had a sincere smile and a sparkle in her eye. She was very graceful and held her head high and proud whenever she spoke of her family, especially her daughters.

It is evident; both of her daughters Nicole and Christina inherited her beauty. And if you don’t already know, wow - are they ever stunning. I saw this photo of a young Linda and I thought it looked timeless. I knew those very eyes from the Linda I saw a few years ago. Even when we age, our faces always have the same eyes and smile.  I wanted to capture just that.

And, Kiki wanted to share a story of Linda from her heart  <3

Linda was a kind, caring and wonderful person. She was the mother of two amazing women, one whom I'm especially thankful to call my best friend. I will be forever grateful to Linda for bringing Bean into the world because with out her I don't know what I would do. 

One of my very first memories of Linda, is my most favourite. Bean invited me for a sleepover in high school and that was the first time I stayed there. In the morning I'll never forget hearing Linda's beautiful singing voice filling up the room. Her love for music was so apparent and it made that morning even that much better. Quietly I was singing along in the kitchen and she heard me. She was happy to see that I was enjoying it and invited me to share the bench and sing along with her. I was quite nervous, but she made it comforting so I went to her. She asked me what songs I liked, and after going through a few songs we decided on Frank Sinatra. She made it so easy to feel comfortable and the next thing we knew we were singing, "start spreading the news" at the top of our lungs! It was so wonderful and after that I felt that we had a special bond. She made me feel so extra special from my very first visit and overtime, I actually felt I was a small part of their family.
Linda's kind, warm personality always shined and it was always nice to see her with that bright smile on her face. No words can express what the Humphries' are feeling, but I know they will be carrying Linda in their hearts forever and because of that they will always shine. I know she is watching over them now and forever. 

Gerry, Nicole and Bean – Our hearts are broken a million times over. We are so sorry for you loss.
Rest in peace beautiful Linda.  We will always remember you for the beautiful person you are. 



After shopping black Friday and Cyber Monday, I was very much inspired by Giving Tuesday – We all want so much, and sometimes we forget to give back for all we get.  I decided to give away a print of my new December pin-up girl “Carol” since giving Tuesday was also the first of Dec. – But I also planned a surprise along with it.


I am grateful everyday that I can paint. It doesn’t pay (all) my bills, it doesn’t save lives, but it makes me happy. It gives me something to do that I love SO much. Painting is my biggest passion. Drawing, paints, paper, canvas…. Ahhhh. And to think, it is something that I have always wanted to do, but not always been comfortable enough to share.

Honestly, It’s intimidating out there. There is SO much talent, it's amazing. But that is the true beauty of it. There is room for all of us. When we share our passion, we expose ourselves and share our gifts. And inspire. If it weren’t for all the veterans exposing their talents, maybe I would not have ever been inspired, and maybe I never would had built up the courage to try, and to share. So to each and every artist out there going for it... thank you.

Thanks to all of you out there for your support.  I am so very grateful for every single like, share, comment… Even if it is constructive criticism… (Thanks friends and family) I am just grateful that I can do whatever I want in this world, and that I want to do the things I choose to do.

For giving Tuesday, I decided to not only give away a copy of Carol, but to actually paint a portrait of the first person that shared my art!

I wasn’t surprised when that person happened to be a girl who has liked my art many times before. But,  I was pleasantly surprised because I always wanted to paint her since she is very charming and beautiful. Ooooh and I knew the photo I wanted to paint.

So here it is. I hope you like it Jovanna – Thank you so much for sharing, liking and believing in my art. Don't forget how gorgeous you are Lady!

Cocoa Daisy.

People always ask who I am painting.

Sometimes, its a friend, sometimes its a commission, sometimes it's a portrait for someone's special someone.

Sometimes it's a photo shoot from vogue, a cover from W Magazine, or a selfie that catches my eye on instagram. I don't really know why I paint what I paint, I just do what I do because I really LOVE it. 

My phone is obsessively filled with about 6000 screen shots of inspiration that I flip through when the feeling is right and the paints are all set up. There is so many beautiful things I want to paint, the possibilities are endless.

Recently, A friend asked me how I do it. How do I paint? So, I wanted to share my first step by step on my @artofmarina instagram page. Then I decided to further explain what I did to get what I got, blog style. I'll get to a video one of these days.

First things first, sweet Inspiration.

It's a warm and fuzzy feeling. I love when I get it. I can't sit still, my mind goes BAM.

I got that exact, happy, fidgety feeling when I saw this photo in a magazine. It's a gal named Daisy Lowe. She's an english Model and as it turns out she's Gavin Rossdale's daughter. (Bush's frontman, Mr.Gwen Stefani) You can read more about how awesome and adorable she is here and here.


Wow. I thought. It's a perfect place to start. She is pretty.... (Isn't she? OMG!) 

So Lets get started!

Step One. Light sketch. I use a soft pencil usually and F or an HB, on Arches art board.

Art board is heavy and it's hot press, so it's smooth. Smooth is easier to erase the pencil marks. I learned this later in the game.

Once I have a basic sketch (I only sketch when I am painting someone in particular to get my proportions correct) If not specific, I freestyle.


For Colour Palette, I decided to go natural and tonal, A natural skin tone, a Burnt Sienna and a Payne's Grey. I make my own flesh tint mixing Burnt Sienna, White and a touch of Bengal Rose, sometimes I'll mix in some Naples Yellow. I always use windsor and Newton watercolour and Windsor and Newton gouache.

First things first, I get my brush really wet and pour the paint tip along the surface keeping my borders in mind from the light pencil as a marker. That is all.



Step Two. After the first coat is totally dry, usually about 30 mins. I mix a little flesh tint with some Payne's Grey and more BurntSienna if it feels right. I always use paper towel and palette to test my brushes. Then I dip my brush, blot and paint the next layer of colour to enhance the dimensions.

Step Three: Same idea, just a little more depth. Neckline, eyes, eyelashes.

And Finally, the darkest tones, Step Four. Lashes, black of eyes, (it's all about the eyes) and my favourite - add a custom print. So I decided to go animal and paint drippy Leopard style paint spots onto her jacket. 

And Voila! Just like that - she's done. I could go on and on and do more layers, but I think she is all complete. The Dark brown spots remind me of Chocolate, so I decided to name her Daisy Cocoa.

I Hope you like my tutorial! Please feel free to email me at if you have any questions.





You may recognize miss Ania, as the girl who I have illustrated and painted again and again. Well, I have known her forever and she was a beauty from birth! She always had the most beautiful face; I remember her blonde hair and big smile making an impression on me even as a young girl. It is no surprise that later on she would grow up to be the whole darn package. I was ecstatic to get to paint this incredible photo of her, it radiates Warrior Princess, and that is exactly what she is!

When I embarked on a career in fashion, Ania was one of the first girls I asked to walk the catwalk for me and became one of the first faces of my label, Mala Kuja. It created a spark in both of us. Fashion always stemmed from my love for illustration and painting, so naturally, Ania was one of the first faces I painted.

Today Ania is beauty and brains, and an entrepreneur. She is the face, and designer of Triarchy, along with her awesome brothers. Ania has a philanthropic heart and is as beautiful on the inside as she was blessed to be on the outside. She will always be a muse to me.

She now rocks the red mane and this proves she can wear any colour of hair. This painting was inspired from a simple test shot from a photo shoot that she posted on instagram. It is now immortalized in oil paint. It was a father’s day gift to Anias amazing Dad, George.


Ania ~ Love you Baby! Stay fabulous woman xx

Follow her @triarchy and check out her dream denim collection here:

Triarchy. FW14.

Ania on the runway. #triarchy #wmcfw

This year at  (#WMCFW) FW 14 fashion week my dearest old friend Adam, and his model bombshell sister and cool motorcycle brother Mark - tore a strip off the runway showcasing their equestrian flair and biker chic styles of functional denim for the rider. It was epic. There was purpose. And I was so proud.

I have known these three since we were in elementary school together. It wasn't really until I came back from my first year at Parsons, sparks flew between Adam and I. He became my best friend instantly. We both LOVED fashion and got into mischief together at the scene of every party and fashion event we could find. And we laughed, watched movies and designed clothes.

Before starting an empire of his own, Adam was always my "go to" for style. What about these jeans? What about this shirt? What about these boots? He is every girls dream... and he is always bang on!

Ania was featured in a video at the beginning of their show. She is the epitome of natural beauty, with brains. I was so impressed (but not surprised) with their charm, their family pride, and the "no bullshit" -  there is work to be done.... attitude.

 The Taubenfligel’s leave a lasting impression always. Ewa, the mother of these mavens was always, and still is today the hottest mom, turning every head picking up the kids from school. The first time I met her I thought she was out of an Italian Versace Vogue campaign. Fashion is in their blood. They belong exactly where they are, and they are going places. 

As a token of my gratitude for the trio, I painted my favourite look from the runway. Ania ofcourse. I have painted this beauty many times, since I started painting and drawing croquis!
She will always be my little muse that one.

Love you to the moon Triarchy. xxx

Keep killing it Bang! Bang! Bang! 

Raw. (natural born artists)

Hey Friends!

Soooo... I've got a new show coming up in April:

My friend Chelsea McLean got me involved in the awesome artist showcase that goes on all over the world Called RAW.

I am so super excited to get the opportunity to showcasing my work as one of the accepted selected visual artists in the Spectrum Showcase in Toronto on April 24th @ the Revival 783 College Street, Toronto.

It will be an amazing night of ART, Performance Art, Music, Fashion, Film, Makeup and Photography from lots of local and international talents.

Tickets are only $15!

If you would like to support my work in the showcase (even if you can't make it the support is appreciated) I will include an 11x17 signed print of any of my paintings for the first 20 tickets sold (value $20) So even if you can’t make it, consider yourself purchasing a print for really great cause, to help artists like me have a place to showcase our work.

Thanks so much everyone. I really hope to see you at this amazing event- 

If you purchase your ticket here: Please contact me for your print choice - pick one from the gallery page!

Love and thanks <3